About the u3a

About the u3a

What is the u3a?

Founded in France in 1972, the concept of u3a (or University of the Third Age) quickly spread internationally. Each country developed in a manner best suited to itself. In the UK the term ‘University’ means “coming together for the pleasure of learning”. Most u3a groups are held in members’ homes which limits size but enhances individual participation. However, by their very nature some of the groups use local facilities or enjoy walks in the area. In the UK there are more than 1,000 u3a’s with nearly 400,000 members (2023 figures). Each u3a is affiliated to the Third Age Trust, the national representative for the u3a movement in the UK .

Why ‘Third Age’?

This is generally regarded as the age of retirement and day-time leisure. Today it includes many over the age of 50 who have decided to retire early. Third Agers often have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience which can be shared with others.

About the u3a branch in Knutsford

It is non-political, non-sectarian and non-profitmaking. Each study/activity group is led by a person who may be a specialist in a particular field or simply act as a convenor with everyone learning together. Groups decide for themselves how they study. Group Leaders give their services without payment but at some meetings a small charge is made to cover hire or rental charges, etc., as they arise. For those who may find it difficult to attend meetings, lifts can often be arranged with other members of that group.

Membership Cost

There is an annual subscription charge to join Knutsford u3a and all group participants MUST be members of the main body.   Existing members of other u3a’s may join the Knutsford u3a for the reduced subscription. Please visit the Membership page for more details.

To learn more, including the origins of the u3a, visit the national website at  www.u3a.org.uk

“The University of the Third Age” video

For a video on “The University of the Third Age” see below. This is available by permission of the national u3a for whom it was produced. Please note that activities covered in this video are from various branches of the u3a and not necessarily available here in Knutsford.

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